News / Middle East

21 Dead in New Syria Violence, Activists Say

Syrian men mourn over the coffin of one of 11 Syrian police officers who were killed in an explosion in the Midan neighborhood, during a mass funeral procession at Al-Hassan mosque, in Damascus, January 7, 2011.
Syrian men mourn over the coffin of one of 11 Syrian police officers who were killed in an explosion in the Midan neighborhood, during a mass funeral procession at Al-Hassan mosque, in Damascus, January 7, 2011.

Syrian activists say at least 21 people were killed Saturday in clashes throughout Syria.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the majority of the deaths occurred in the flashpoint central city of Homs and in the restive Idlib province in the northwest.

The clashes came as thousands of supporters of President Bashar al-Assad joined a funeral ceremony in Damascus for 26 people killed in a bomb attack a day earlier.

The government called the devastating explosion Friday, which also wounded more than 60 people, a "terrorist" attack and accused opposition groups of being behind the killings. It also vowed to "strike back with an iron fist" against the perpetrators.

Syria's information minister, Adnan Mahmoud, described the assault as a reflection of those who are "targeting" the country.

"It also illustrates the bankruptcy and disastrous failure of the tools of this project, on both a logistical and field level, as well as failure on the political level, on mobilizing public opinion in Syria and on the level of the states supporting this kind of project in our area and the western states including the United States of America," Mahmoud said.

But opposition activists deny any involvement in the bombing and have suggested the authorities staged the explosion to create a backlash against those calling for a government removal.

Most of those killed in the attack Friday appeared to be policemen riding on a bus that was shattered by the blast. Syrian state media quoted an Interior Ministry official as asserting that a male suicide bomber triggered the blast in the central Midan district, but few other details were available.

Opposition activists said the Syrian regime's crackdown on protesters continued in several parts of the country late Friday in which 17 civilians were killed.  

Arab League ministers are to meet in Cairo Sunday to review the work of an observer mission the league has sent to Syria two weeks ago.  The observers were tasked with finding out whether the Assad government has lived up to its pledge that its long-running crackdown on civilian protesters was at an end.  

Mr. Assad has pledged to witdraw security forces from cities, release political prisoners and allow anti-government protests.  Government reports of mass prisoner releases have not been verified, in part because almost all foreign journalists are barred from access to the country.

A global, online activist group that supports "people-power" movements worldwide, Avaaz, says nearly 7,000 people were killed since March 2011, when the Syrian unrest began.  Avaaz says its casualty count was confirmed through contacts with multiple sources in Syria.

The United Nations estimates 5,000 people have been killed in Syria, while the Damascus government accuses armed terrorists of driving the revolt and killing 2,000 security personnel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid